Silk Skull Cap with Gilt Lacquered Box

c. 1850
$2,480 USD
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H: 7.0" Dia: 8.75"
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No self-respecting man in Qing-dynasty China would leave the house without some kind of hat. In fact, headgear was so central to social status that a boy’s passage into manhood was marked by a capping ceremony. Despite its beautifully lacquered and gilt box, this black silk skullcap was a relatively casual form of head covering for Qing-dynasty men. Made of six silk panels set over a woven cane interior and fashioned with a decorative topknot, this type of hat would have been owned by a Chinese gentleman, worn with an ankle-length gown and waistcoat. This beautifully preserved hat and box provide a wonderful opportunity to examine up close the workmanship of an item so integral to a man’s identity in imperial China.

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